What Mugabe Told Zuma

Robert "The Solution" Mugabe with Jacob Zuma at the Harare Agricultural Show yesterday. Mugabe made Zuma's job extremely difficult by heaping the blame for the impasse on Tsvangirai and the MDC, whom he accused of doing nothing about holding up their end of the bargain.

Harare, Zimbabwe, August 29 2009

Sorry for the late update, but internet connectivity for me today was a nightmare. I was briefly able to log onto the net in the morning and then it all went haywire. I understand an upgrade is being done by the useless government-owned company that sees to things like this.

I am now using an alternative route to post this and it is to be expected that the Government company in charge will fail to finish their upgrade until sometime after Mugabe dies!!! It will be a long wait, either way.

Enough of that.

I now have information on the case that Mugabe presented to Jacob Zuma, which informed teh South African leader's stance yesterday as he met with the political "leaders" here.

Mugabe, I am told, informed Zuma that this government was a compromise and that he expected the MDC and Tsvangirai to pull their weight in ensuring that it works. He claimed Tsvangirai is not doing this and even warned Zuma that he will not be able to keep the "hotheads" in his party at bay if he is seen continually to be giving in to Tsvangirai without Tsvangirai doing his part.

Zuma apparently asked what Tsvangirai was expected to do and Mugabe inevitably trotted out the issue of sanctions.

The significant new thing that came out of the meeting, however, was how apparent it was that Mugabe is still extremely bitter about Tsvangirai's refusal to label the "sanctions" as just that, instead calling them "restrictive measures."

Mugabe told Zuma that he had confronted Tsvangirai with this specific charge at their last weekly report-back meeting, something the Prime Minister confirms.

To Mugabe, the fact that Tsvangirai refuses to acknowledge "sanctions" is an indication that the Prime Minister is not serious about calling for the lifting of such things as ZIDERA in America and other restrictions placed on Zimbabwe's ability to borrow internationally by both the US and Europe.

I am told that those who were with Mugabe during this meeting heard him for the first time accuse the Prime Minister of saying one thing in public while saying the opposite in private on this issue during his last trip overseas to drum up support for this moribund Inclusive MisGovernment.

Mugabe specifically told Zuma that the Prime Minister had requested President Obama to bar the ZANU PF minister of foreign affairs who was travelling with him from attending their meeting at the White House.

Mugabe says Tsvangirai did this so that he could privately tell Obama to maintain ZIDERA (the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act) as well as retain all the other restrictions placed on Zimbabwe at Bretton Woods and elsewhere.

Mugabe went on to say that his party, ZANU PF, was convinced that Tsvangirai was still working for a "regime change" agenda and was, therefore not sincere. He claimed that Tsvangirai has spoken to Hillary Clinton during her visit to South Africa recently and that he had it "on good authority" that regime change was the topic.

It is not clear whether the conversation was by phone from Harare, which would have been fairly daft of Tsvangirai. Still......

The Zimbabwean dictator asked specifically why he should "always be giving in" when Tsvangirai was making no attempt to meet him half way and instead seeking to "undermine the government and legitimate authority in Zimbabwe".

I am told that the upshot was that Mugabe pointedly told Zuma that unless and until sanctions are removed, he is not going to give in to anything else, saying he had "already done enough to show my goodwill. Ask Mr Tsvangirai what he has done to show his goodwill," Mugabe told Zuma.

Mugabe was insistent that the biggest outstanding issue in the GPA was this issue of sanctions and he specifically said the travel ban on him and his people can stay: he wants access to capital, to be able to borrow on the international stage from such bodies as the Bretton Woods Institutions.

Do not expect to see any movement at all on any of the issues that remain outstanding until Tsvangirai makes some major concessions to Mugabe, as he had started doing before Zuma arrived. I explained that in my article entitled Tsvangirai Reduced To Begging Mugabe.

So, same same, then. No change from my prediction of a long sweltering summer.

Perhaps while I am still at it, I can urge Nelson Chamisa, the Mercedes-Benz ML-driving MDC minister in charge of all thing internet to pull his finger out and get on with fulfilling the grandiose promises he made in that 100-day wishlist.

No much chance though, especially with Tsvangirai describing the performance of his government as "dismal" , like he did last week!!!

Like I said when the so-called STERP was launched, these people really haven't the foggiest what they are doing.

And that is scary.


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